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Greek Soccer Players Sat Down During A Match To Protest Refugee Deaths

AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos players sat for two minutes on Friday in a call for authorities to protect refugees — particularly children — crossing the Aegean Sea.

Posted on January 31, 2016, at 6:31 p.m. ET

Soccer players in Greece sat down for two minutes during a match Friday to protest about the plight of refugees crossing the Aegean Sea.

OTE TV / Via

The two minutes of silence came at the beginning of a match between AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos in the city of Larissa, Reuters reported.

Every player on the pitch joined the protest, as well as coaches and substitutes on the sidelines.

OTE TV / Via

Meanwhile, stadium announcers said the protest was a call to action for European Union and Turkish authorities to protect refugees crossing the Aegean Sea.

OTE TV / Via

Announcers also said the players were sitting in memory of the hundreds of children who had died in the crossing, the Guardian reported:

An announcement over the club's PA system stated: "The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey.

"The players of AEL will protest by sitting down for two minutes in an effort to drive the authorities to mobilize all those who seem to have been desensitized to the heinous crimes that are being perpetrated in the Aegean."

More than a million refugees traveled to Europe in 2015 — many of them fleeing war in Syria and crossing into the continent via the Mediterranean Sea, which includes the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey. Drowning has been among the most serious dangers facing refugees, particularly children.

Watch the full protest here.

View this video on YouTube